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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree April 2019 > Your questions answered

Your questions answered

With our panel of experts Jayne Shrimpton, David Annal, David Frost, and Christine Wibberley

Making sense of my Georgians

Q I would really appreciate some advice on how to discover the birth and parentage of my 4x great-grandfather, John Padman (c1760-1813). He was married in Lincoln in 1781 to Susannah Swannach (born in Branston, Lincolnshire). The following children were born and baptised:

• 1785 Thomas (became Rev Thomas Padman, a Methodist minister)

• 1787 Elizabeth

• 1790 John

• 1794 Eleanor

• 1796 Ann

• 1799 William.

The children were baptised at St Swithin’s Church, Lincoln. I am a descendant of Thomas.

I am a member of Lincolnshire Family History Society and fellow members have helped me to discover some vital dates for John Padman, including the death of his wife in 1808 (while milking a cow – I think this was reported in the Gardener Magazine).

I discovered that John Padman was a gardener/nurseryman and rented land on which he grew crops.

However, I could not find parents for John Padman. The most likely (and only) candidate born in Huntingdonshire, died aged two.

I would like to discover his parentage and wonder if you could advise me how to proceed. John Padman seems a ‘middling’ sort of ancestor and generally his descendants have been careful people who like to register important events.

What do you recommend I do now? I would be very grateful for any advice.

Joy Shaw

A On 19 February 1813 the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury published notices of several deaths including that on 10 February of ‘Mr John Padman of this city, gardener’ (British Newspapers Online). From the St Swithin’s, Lincoln burial register on Findmypast John Padman – virtually certainly he who died on 10 February – was ‘of Back Lane parallel to Broadgate’ and was buried at St Swithin’s on 12 February 1813 aged 56, giving a birth year of 1756/1757. In 1798 from the Land Tax Redemption Register, a John Padman rented a garden and tenement in East Ward Lincoln with no other location given.

The banns register of St Mary Magdalene, where John and Susannah were married on 5 June 1781 (available at Findmypast), states that at the time of the marriage both bride and groom were of St Margaret’s parish, though that is not to say that John was born there (you have already found that Susannah was not) or even in Lincolnshire.

Next steps to take

Look for a will in local archives: John did not make a will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury but you should ask Lincolnshire Archives to check its indexes of wills after 1800, which are not online. Wills are an excellent source of clues of family relationships. You should also consider other Padman wills after 1800 (there are none indexed before).

Search the parish chest thoroughly: There is no suggested baptism online for John for the time of birth and he may never have been baptised or any record may not have survived. You should arrange to have examined the parish records such as settlement certificates and examinations and others for parishes suggested by the locations found, which might give some clue as to John’s origins. You may, however, have to conclude that the search cannot be taken further. CW

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About Family Tree

Do you know what your surname means and where it's come from? You don't? You've come to the right place. With the April issue of Family Tree we've got a cracking 32 guide to help you learn about your family names. From surname super-sleuth organisation the Guild of One-Name Studies, it's packed with advice to research your family surnames - wherever in the world they come from... Plus - inside the mag - we've got 10 top family history projects to help you organise your research, university research into our ancient 10,000 year old ancestor (he's the great-grandpa of us all) and the tale of an orphan, disinherited and banished into slavery - and his 30 year fight to regain what was rightfully his!